Okay, here goes, because I will not be able to focus on anything until I have this all down and out of my head. See last year's recap posts in the July archive.
This year, I tagged along with Emi and followed her SDCC traditions. We went for half of the con: Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. We stayed with Cat, Ron, and a few of Emi's friends in a sweet condo about 10 blocks from the convention center.
We got into town around noon on Friday, went to the condo, and regrouped for the convention. I picked up my pro badge painlessly, and was very grateful for how well that worked this year. Emi and I bee-lined for Josh Cooley's table to buy the International Cuties cards, then wandered around, taking in the convention.
I wanted to go to a Pixar panel at 4:30, but wandered up to the room at 3:15 because my feet hurt and I figured I might as well get there a little early--maybe even watch the panel before it. Um, good thing I did; that was everyone else's plan! I was in one of the last rows for the Pixar panel, even having gone to the one before it! Jeez! The panel was GREAT. It was all about the Pixar story process, storyboarding, and the meaning of the phrase 'Trust the process'. It was right up my alley. So cool.
I got a couple of tickets to the Scott Pilgrim screening on Friday night, and took Emi's friend Nina to see it. Omigod, so amazing. The Balboa theater was beautiful, it was packed with psychotic fans, Edgar Wright, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and many of the cast members came onstage to greet the crowd, and the movie itself was SO GOOD! as;dlkfj;, so good. Even Nina, who has never read Scott Pilgrim, was laughing and cheering along with everyone, and said that she really liked it. She bought all 6 books the next day! Ha! I had a beef with the last 20 minutes, but I forgive it because the rest of the movie was just amazing, and I will always have the comics to get the ending right by me. I am buying the movie soundtrack as soon as possible. And I'm totally going again for the midnight premier.
After the screening, I rushed home to clean up for the night. Emi and I put on heels and took a pedicab downtown to the Keating Hotel for Oni Press's party. We saw a lot of friends there, got to meet some new people, and just had a blasty-blast in general. There was a photo booth set up where you could take pictures holding rock band props. Also fun: I gave Nathan Fillion a triple take, but resolved not to bother him. :P
I woke up on Saturday with a heinous hangover. I think it was a combination of eating a terribly small dinner, not drinking enough water, and, of course, drinking too much alcohol. It took a couple of hours to shake, but I got to the convention by 10:00 nevertheless. I went on a shopping spree, hitting up Top Shelf, First Second, and Slave Labor Graphics. First Second had copies of Brain Camp and Koko Be Good out for media personnel, but not for purchase. TORTURE.
I felt really lucky to get a portfolio review with Erik Larsen in the afternoon. He was thorough and honest and gave me a lot of feedback and things to work on. Regular critiques are necessary for improvement; it's easy to get complacent or dismiss your errors as a part of your style. A lot of the things he pointed out were invisible to me before--I knew something was off, but couldn't identify just what it was. Now I know, and it's so nice to have a concrete list of things to work on!
I went to lunch with Nico and talked about collaborating on something for next year. Fingers crossed!
Next, I met up with Angie and Emi and met James Jean and Hellen Jo. The five of us left the convention center for a mental recharge at this bizarre lounge across the street with free ice cream and soda. Hellen talked to me about conventions like APE that I plan to attend for the first time next year. I'm a fan of her work, and it was great to see how cool she is in person. Emi and I stopped by Michael Daley's booth a little later, and he was another artist whose work I admired and whom I was happy to meet for the first time. There's something about liking the artist in person that makes their artwork even better, you know?
Saturday night was spent at the Hilton bar. I actually went home pretty early; I felt physically exhausted and I volunteered to run a key to a friend who was locked out of the condo. I got to talk to Ron Randall and his daughter Lisa, meet Jarrett Williams of Super Pro K.O. and Patric Reynolds from Serenity: Float Out, and then it was game over for me.
On Sunday, Ron took me by Dark Horse and introduced me to Chris Warner, which was awesome. For living in the same city as Dark Horse, I know relatively few people there! After that, I finally got all the way over to Artists Alley, and really enjoyed walking through the aisles there. I love seeing artists in person after following them online; it's very interesting to me.
Emi and I left town around 2:00 and I got to read some of the comics I bought over the weekend. I LOVED Foiled, and Shadoweyes topped that with MEGALOVE. Ross Campbell's art is outstanding, and I loved the dialogue-driven discussions of identity in terms of gender, sexuality, disability, and even species. Can I say 'love' one more time? LOVE.
I bought James Kochalka's Dragon Puncher and the first issue of Cleopatra in Spaaace, which were both great. Next up are Moving Pictures and Ax.
Now I'm home with a long list of goals for August, things to work on in my art, and projects to get the hell going on. I have to be a little antisocial and frugal for a while, I think. It's time to work!